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ISGM Podcast: The Concert #4 - Schubert's Songs, With and Without Words

This week’s program focuses again on Schubert, and his gift for a singing melody. In the first piece, the lyrical melody in the pianist’s right hand is a tune that could easily be the vocal line of one of Schubert’s songs. The left hand devotedly accompanies the tune, providing harmonic support and rhythmic motion. This idea, of a melodic line supported by an evocative piano accompaniment, figures prominently in Schubert’s songs, including the other piece on the program: Winterreise. This song cycle was written late in Schubert’s life, during a serious illness, and the narrator in the songs contemplates and confronts death throughout. In a particularly poignant moment halfway through this excerpt, in the song “Der Lindenbaum,” the narrator finds a brief respite under the branches of a Linden tree. But, as in much of Schubert’s song, there is perhaps a somewhat unsettling correlation between rest and death. The poems tell the story of a winter’s journey through the cold and snowy woods. Below you’ll find a link to the complete translations, so you can follow the story. Be sure to check back for podcast #6, and the conclusion of Winterreise.

Recorded live in the Tapestry Room of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, Boston.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum is pleased to share this concert under a Creative Commons Music Sharing License. For details see


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